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The Ice Age

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Several alert readers emailed last week to remind that this Sunday is National Defrost your Freezer Day. I checked my Day-Timer to verify it and I’ll be doggone. It is! Where does the time go?

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Though it may be a Herculean task that requires meticulous planning and a keen strategy I am obliged to undertake this yearly task and while I’m at it I’ll change the batteries in my smoke detectors and rotate the tires on the VW camper.

There are several tips you should be aware of when doing the Big Thaw.

First off, if you own one of those fancy schmanzy no-frost LG refrigerators this column does not apply to you. Pull out a box of Totino’s Pizza Rolls, or an ice cream sandwich, pop open a Pabst Blue Ribbon and go watch World Cup Soccer. You are excused.

Ice buildup in the freezer causes shortage of storage space, makes the appliance run inefficiently and breeds germs and bacteria. Over half of food borne illness is transmitted by ice. Space in my freezer is critical, the more I have the more eggrolls, popsicles, spinach and pot pies I can stock up on.

To get started open the freezer door and unplug the fridge. Now, what to do with all the crap that is currently in the freeze. Remove it all, place it on sheets pans or in large bowls and throw them in the fridge. Anything you might want to have for dinner that night, toss it in the sink and let it thaw. Toss out the open carton of baking soda.

Leave the door open while defrosting. Some may use a hair-dryer to assists the melting progress, I on the other hand, think it is exciting to sit and watch ice melt while drinking a beer.

But wait! Look at all these odds and ends coming out of the freezer that I can create a perfect comfort food dish with while I’m waiting for the thaw.

While Your Defrosting Turkey Pot Pie

2 Prepared Pie Crusts

3 Tbs.Butter

1 Onion, Sliced

1/2 Cup Diced Celery

1 Cup Frozen Peas

8 Oz. Sliced Mushrooms

3 Garlic Cloves, Minced

1 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Parsley

1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme

1/4 Tsp. Ground Sage

3 Tbs. Flour

2 Cups Turkey or Chicken Broth

2 Cups Diced Turkey

Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Place one pie crust in a pie plate.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large pan melt butter add onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and garlic.

Sauté for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Season with parsley, thyme, sage, salt, & pepper.

Sprinkle the sautéed mixture with flour and stir to mix evenly.

Add turkey stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the thickened mixture into the prepared pie plate. Top with the second crust and crimp sides to seal.

Cut a couple slits in top so steam can be released. Slightly wet top and sprinkle with

Bake for 15 minutes then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 more minutes.

Have plenty of towels and/or paper towels to wipe up the pools of water that may occur. Got a pesky Zip-Lock freezer bag sticking the wall of the freezer under a chunk of ice? Let it melt. A screwdriver may damage the innards of the freezer. Relax, be patient, open another can of beer.

When all is said and done, wipe out the freezer with some sort of cleanser, Lysol or whatever, and keep the door open for another half hour. Replace all your junk back in the freezer and put a fresh opened box of baking soda in the door. Trust me, freezers have an odor after a while.

Depending on the size of your freezer this task can take three or four hours or it could be an all-day project. But when you’re done it’s worth it and you will be all ready for November 13. National Clean Out your Refrigerator Day.

Check out the slideshow for some more tips on defrosting.

Happy thawing everybody.

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